Culture & Conversation

Visions of Summer

Montreal Fashion Week was off to a sizzling start with the presentation of the Spring/Summer 2012 designer collections of Travis Taddeo and Dimitri Chris. The fashion set filed into the Marché Bonsecours to see the latest offerings – although the end of summer is upon us, the runway shows gave us something to look forward to after the harsh winter to come.

Travis Taddeo’s collection “Dry Heat,” didn’t reveal anything new (are those the Dries van Noten bleach-splattered jeans from last season?) yet it was an excellent mood study. The clothes and the runway presentation captured a summery aesthetic, with lots of light-as-air gauzy cottons draped over the bodies floating down the catwalk. The black leather pants didn’t seem like something one would particularly want to wear in the summer but they looked so chic styled with a top made entirely out of wild-looking feathers that the entire look was hard to resist. Editorial triumph was achieved with the finale piece, a dress complete with a cape made entirely out of the collection’s signature feathers.

In true Taddeo fashion, the gender binary went out the window when both a male and female model were sent out in the same look. And for the skinny fashion boy, Taddeo trotted out his usual selection of mesh and see-through tops to show off that impossible 1% body fat ratio. His latest collection was artistically cohesive but commercially ambiguous. We all want to wear some Taddeo feathers, but why do we have to wait until the heat of next summer to do so?

Dimtiri Chris’ vision of summer, on the other hand, was a beautiful reiteration of nautical prep. Without relying on the standard idioms of sailor stripes and rope belts, Dimitri Chris brought us all on a trip to Nantucket, and was able to conjure up a vision of the seaside elite. The men were dressed in blush-hued critter pants and suits, with smart unwashed denim shirts. Several suits with shorts, which are quickly becoming the designer’s signature, were sent out. Although the shorts’ hems were a touch too high for most men, the overall silhouette worked, and the collection provided a variety of great options for the gentleman looking for versatile and comfortable vacation clothes. The designer has also been expanding his women’s wear. The most covetable piece of the collection was a shirtdress that was literally a shirt-dress, with sleeves tied around the bust into a bow and tailoring added to make sure the shirt stays close to the body.

All in all, Travis Taddeo and Dimitri Chris had the audience yearning for summer, be it the sweaty, breathless nights on the town of Taddeo’s vision, or the relaxed seaside vacation of Dimitri Chris.

Montreal Fashion Week closes tonight, September 9th. Check back with Rover for more coverage on the week’s runway shows and see the looks at

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